§ MR. HICKS BEACH (Gloucestershire, Tewkesbury)
To ask the President of the Board of Education whether he will state on what grounds the trustees of voluntary schools have been required to affix a half-crown stamp to the copies of their trust deeds which the Board of Education have demanded to be submitted to them; and whether the Board propose to reimburse the trustees for the expense thus incurred.
(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) The affixing of the stamps has not been required by the Board of Education. The necessity of so doing arises only in those cases where the trustees desire to send copies of their trust deeds, in lieu of the originals, in response to the circular issued by the Board of Education for procuring the Return ordered by the House of Commons on February 23rd last. For the convenience of Trustees the Board intimated their readiness to accept copies of trust deeds, instead of originals, if accompanied by a statutory declaration of their authenticity made before a commissioner for oaths. Such a declaration requires a half-crown stamp, under The Stamp Act, 1891. In cases in which the trustees have preferred not to forward the original deeds the expense of making the necessary declaration must be borne by them. The Board have no funds out of which they can defray the cost.